Bezau, Austria

Photo: Hotel Post Bezau
Photo: Hotel Post Bezau

What happened to spring? It seems like we’ve jumped right from the cold winter to the hot summer without pausing for the mild temperatures in between. You’ve already had to start using your air conditioner at night and wearing shorts on the weekends, and it isn’t even the end of May. You’re ready for some time in the mountains.

The Bregenz Forest should be refreshing enough right now. This western corner of Austria is part of the Alps. Snow still caps the tops of the mountains. The forests are dense and untouched. Wildflowers are starting to grow around ice-cold lakes. Alpine meadows are filled with dairy cows. Plus little villages dot the hillsides.

You’re heading to Bezau, one of those villages. It’s in the Hinterwald (the Upper Bregenz Forest), which has higher mountains and feels not only remote, but almost cut off from the outside world. Bezau is picturesque with wooden buildings clustered close together, a church that was built in 1906, and a cable car station that connects it to other mountain villages.

Photo: Hotel Post Bezau
Photo: Hotel Post Bezau

It’s also home to Hotel Post. The chalet-style hotel, covered with wooden shingles, first opened in the 19th century. Five generations later, it’s still in the family and has expanded into a design hotel. The light-filled rooms have blonde furniture, balconies with mountain views, and organic treats. The relaxing Bathhouse has an indoor pool and a roof deck for sunbathing. While the 14-seat restaurant, whose menu changes nightly, features very local produce.

After your green arrival—train and bus transportation for which the hotel rewards you with a spa treatment—you spend as much time outside over the next few days as possible. Ride the cable cars above the low-hanging clouds early in the morning for a panoramic view from Baumgarten. Mountain bike between Egg and Schoppernau without any cars interrupting you. Hike the easy Bizauer Moos path along bogs, moss, and wet meadows or challenge yourself on the longer and harder Schönebach trail. Ride a rowboat on Lake Körbersee or swim in chilly Lake Seewaldsee. Then return to Bezau later in the afternoon.

You’re greeted back at the hotel with homemade cake. Relax in the Bathhouse’s outdoor brine pool before your Breuss massage that will stretch your spinal cord. Fresh fruit and juice are waiting in the relaxation room when you finish. Then go to Gourmet Restaurant Irma for dinner. The braised lamb shoulder and the early vegetables from around Lake Constance pair perfectly with a dry red wine from Burgenland. It finally feels like spring.

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